Start at the Core
Last week I wrote a piece about what I thought would be an excellent plan to keep my motivation high for working on personal projects.
I messed up a bit.
Staying orthogonal, gettings others involved, and especially not overworking myself remain to be solid words of advice from my past self. What I want to reevaluate is breaking my project up into many mini projects.
I wouldn’t say that it was a bad idea, but I don’t think I was specific enough. Breaking your project down is the what, but after a week of trial I realize I need to focus on the how.
My current project is a iOS game I’m calling Mini Margin. Think Storage Wars with a few adjustments. Certainly a game that a focused, motivated individual should be able to pull off.
My first mini project was to create all the needed Views and build each transitions (segues) between each screen. I quickly became bored of this so I broke my mini project rule and started designing, a project I wasn’t supposed to indulge for awhile. This bored me quickly, too.
Motivation was waning. I had to change the way I was approaching my project.
If you’ve watched Storage Wars, you’d know that the primary events of the show are the bidding and the haggling. Without these two primary components, the drama and the delight I get from seeing how well each character faired afterwards are nonexistent.
I should have started the project building the algorithms needed for bidding and haggling. If these two algorithms themselves work very well, the game could be fun even with a shit design. They are the two most important cogs in the wheel.
Motivation has been abundant since I switched to building these algorithms. I’ll have a great foundation for building the rest of my game once these two algorithms are complete, and I’m very excited to keep working.
I’m not into saying that it will work for everyone, but if your a product guy like me, who designs and develops most of all his projects, consider starting with the hard parts, because most likely those are the biggest selling points of your product.